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Lemon and orange risotto with calamari and zucchini

Adding hints of lemon, oranges and mint puts refreshing, sunny flavors in your risotto.

Lemon and orange risotto with calamari and zucchini

Risotto dishes are like pasta. You can cook them with whatever ingredients you feel like adding. Mixing citrus fruit and mint with calamari gives a strong hint of freshness and a summery feel to this delicious dish!

Lemon and orange risotto with calamari and zucchini recipe

Serves 4


  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10.5 ounces uncooked rice (types suitable for risotto are: vialone nano, carnaroli, arborio, etc.)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 medium calamari, diced
  • 8 ounces mozzarella, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 fresh mint leaves, chopped finely


  1. Over medium heat, saute the onions in a saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil.
  2. After 2 minutes, add the rice. Stir constantly to coat the rice with oil for about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the white wine. Stir and let the alcohol evaporate.
  4. Add the juice of 1/4 lemon and 1/2 orange.
  5. After about 3 minutes,  add 2 ladles of vegetable broth to the rice. Keep on adding vegetable broth as you cook the risotto every time the broth gets absorbed. Stir frequently to make sure that the rice doesn’t stick to the pan. The risotto should cook for about 18-20 minutes in total.
  6. While cooking the rice, get another saucepan. Over medium-high heat, saute the zucchini with extra-virgin olive oil until they are cooked through. Transfer them to a container.
  7. In the same saucepan, saute the calamari until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  8. About 3 minutes before the end of cooking, add the calamari and zucchini to the risotto.
  9. When the risotto has reached a creamy consistency and the rice is cooked through but still slightly al dente, turn off the fire the add the zest of 1 lemon, zest of 1 orange and the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the mint. Garnish with mint or parsley.

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